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  • Alison Balsom's scintillating iTunes Festival performance: last chance to watch

    The trumpet virtuoso's concert is still available to stream free on iTunes... But only until next week.

    If you missed Alison Balsom's spectacular concert as one of the classical stars headlining the iTunes Festival at London's historic Roundhouse, you can still catch the show on iTunes or Apple for a limited time.

    Accompanied by lush orchestra, Balsom played irresistible music from her latest album Paris. The British trumpeter has spent much of October on a major tour bringing the sights, sounds and sensuality of the French capital to concert halls around the UK.

    Stream the iTunes Festival concert for free here.

  • Balsom plays The Beach Boys in BBC Music's all-star supergroup

    Alison Balsom is one of 27 seriously big talents chosen by the BBC to record an extravagant cover version of the Beach Boys 1966 classic God Only Knows, celebrating the launch of BBC Music, described by the media service as "an ambitious wave of new programmes, innovative partnerships and ground-breaking music initiatives that amount to the BBC’s strongest commitment to music in 30 years".

    The single's accompanying video is as extravagant as the line-up, dubbed "The Impossible Orchestra" by the BBC, featuring artists from all genres including Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Florence Welch, Jamie Cullum, Coldplay's Chris Martin, and the song's originator Brian Wilson each singing or playing a line from the Pet Sounds hit. (Other classical musicians include violinist Nicola Benedetti and soprano Danielle de Niese — accompanied by the 80-piece BBC Concert Orchestra.)

    The clip features Alison Balsom in a regal golden feathered gown, playing trumpet suspended in a giant bird cage. Meanwhile, Kylie Minogue floats by in a bubble as London's Alexandra Palace Theatre is transformed into a lush jungle paradise.

    Balsom and the other artists gave their time for free, with the single released today in aid of BBC Children in Need, a cause close to the trumpeter's heart. The track, a first-time collaboration between Warner, Sony and Universal Music, is available to download with the proceeds going to charity.

    The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson said: "All of the artists did such a beautiful job. I can’t thank them enough. God Only Knows is a very special song, an extremely spiritual song and one of the best I’ve ever written."

  • Alison Balsom joins line-up of iTunes Festival: London concert to be streamed live

    British trumpeter Alison Balsom is one of the most graceful modern ambassadors of classical music. iTunes Festival has announced this morning that she will join a staggering, eclectic line-up featuring the likes of Blondie, Kylie Minogue, Robert Plant, Gregory Porter and Little Dragon at London's historic Roundhouse for the 30-day celebration of the biggest names in music today.

    Balsom will play irresistible music from her new album Paris, an alluring tour of music written in and inspired by the City of Lights.

    If you can't make it to the festival, watch her take the stage on September 28 by streaming the gig for free on iTunes or via Apple TV.

  • New Alison Balsom video features guitarist Milos in impassioned duet

    Watch the trumpet sensation and the Montenegran guitar idol recording Piazzolla's potent tango Café 1930 together.

    Alison Balsom follows up the melancholy-tinged beauty of her recent Satie Gymnopédie No.3 video with another stunner from her forthcoming release Paris. The latest film noir-inspired clip captures the trumpet virtuoso in sultry duet with star guitarist Miloš Karadaglić, a guest on the album who recently performed with Alison at the Hollywood Bowl.

    The pair are a perfect match in this arrangement of Ástor Piazzolla's searing tango Café 1930, the long, elegant melodies of trumpet and guitar intertwining sensually.

    Paris hits shelves in September. Pre-order the album here or on iTunes.

  • New video of Satie's Gymnopédie No.3 shows Alison recording her new album, 'Paris'

    Alison has unveiled her new video for the forthcoming album Paris. The opening track from the French-inspired release — Erik Satie's evocative, waltz-like Gymnopédie No.3 in an elegant arrangement for trumpet and shimmering orchestral accompaniment — is the meditative soundtrack to the 2.5-minute clip that feels a little like a montage from a French New Wave film.

    UK fans who can't wait for the album's release on 8 September can get the spellbinding track heard in the video now on iTunes as a special pre-release. Buy the track or pre-order the album and you'll receive Gymnopédie No.3 immediately.

    With Paris, Alison pieced together a musical montage of her experiences in the most romantic city in the world. “The Parisian concept developed organically the more I looked for music that I loved, that could work in this sound world,” she explains. “I spent a key part of my musical life in Paris at the Conservatoire, and whilst this album is anything but a stereotype of a 'Parisian' sound, every track has a link to the world of Paris. I should admit though, that on the first day of recording even the musicians asked if we were making two separate albums, the pile of music on their stands being so wildly diverse and unexpected...”

    Accessible yet surprising at every turn, the programme ranges from 20th-century French composers (Ravel, Duruflé, Messiaen) to jazz (Django Reinhardt) and popular chanson française (Joseph Kosma), all in enchanting arrangements for trumpet. Pre-order here.

  • 'The Trumpet Sings' UK tour kicks off on 30 September

    'The Trumpet Sings' UK Tour begins on 30 September in Edinburgh and runs nationwide until 14 October. Tickets are available now; simply visit the concerts page for direct links to the venue websites.

    Experience an unexpected theatrical journey through Paris with pieces of music very close to Alison's heart.
    Accompanied by jazz trio and string section, this will be an exciting theatrical performance of music from Bach to Gershwin and Vivaldi to Piazzolla with some inspiring jazz interludes along the way.
    The show will include repertoire from Alison Balsom’s much anticipated new album Paris, which she has co-produced, scheduled for release in September 2014.

    30 September - USHER HALL, Edinburgh
    1 October - SAGE, Gateshead
    2 October - BRIDGEWATER HALL, Manchester
    3 October - ROYAL CONCERT HALL, Nottingham
    5 October - ST DAVID'S HALL, Cardiff
    6 October - COLSTON HALL, Bristol
    7 October - TOWN HALL, Leeds
    8 October - REGENT THEATRE, Ipswich
    9 October - CORN EXCHANGE, Cambridge
    13 October - ROYAL ALBERT HALL, London
    14 October - TOWN HALL, Birmingham

  • Alison nominated for Gramophone Artist of the Year 2013

    The 10 nominees for this year's prestigious Artist of the Year Award are: Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Alison Balsom, Janine Jansen, Michael Collins, the Jerusalem Quartet, Jonas Kaufmann, Marc-André Hamelin, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Andris Nelsons and Kristian Bezuidenhout.

    For more information and to vote for Alison click here

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